“She hath done what she could”
After two days was the feast of the passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to death. But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar of the people. And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head. And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her. And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me. For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always. She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her. And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went unto the chief priests, to betray him unto them. And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. And he sought how he might conveniently betray him. (Mark 14:1-11 AV)
“She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying.”
Those who truly knew Jesus did not believe that He had come as a political or social reformer, but they believed what He had told them, that He would be crucified and rise again on the third day. It was the feast of the passover, and this woman was so perfectly sure of His mission as the Christ, the Messiah, that she spent a great deal of money for the precious anointing oil which she poured over His head for His burial. Can you believe as we do that this woman saw in Jesus not only the Christ, but His role of “King of Kings and Lord of Lords”.
When kings or priests in the Bible were elevated to their offices they were anointed with oil. It follows that Jesus also should be anointed, here as king. He was also anointed by a woman who anointed His feet with oil and wiped them with the hairs of her head. “ And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. (Luke 7:38 AV). We believe that this was His anointing as the High Priest of God who is today seated on the right hand of the Father, interceding for His Saints.
As the text moves along, we see that the desires of the chief priests and scribes were fulfilled by Judas Iscariot without using craftiness, but to their delight, Jesus was betrayed into their hands by one of His own chosen disciples, Judas Iscariot.
How does this gospel relate to us today? I guess we need to consider the two extremes between the woman and the man the man who betrayed Jesus, and how we relate to one or the other.
First, the woman. Do we understand that the King of Glory had to die as He said, knowing that He would not continue on earth in His flesh healing and working miracles, and knowing that as the Christ He is eternal with the power of resurrection to glory for Himself and then for us?
Do you feel as this woman, the desire to be a part of His death, to be part with this Christ, this Messiah, to share in His passion, His love for the lonely and broken, the lepers, the blind and crippled? Are you willing to share the cross, the nails, the lashes, the thorns and cursing? Do you wish to be dead in Christ so that you can be alive with Him, forever?
Next the man who betrayed Him. Do we see that his love was for money right now, any way he could get it? He carried the Apostles funds and desired that the value of the ointment were sold and given into the bag he was carrying. Jesus rebuked him for his greed and his need to minister to Him while He was still with them. He could help the poor any time, that is if he really cared about the poor.
Do you feel as this man that life is short, and it is needful to make money any way you can, regardless of the agonies and your relations with others. Do you turn your back on the needy, the dying, the hungry, the sick and sinful in order to hold to your hard earned money?
You may say that these are two extremes, that there is a middle road here that is not mentioned. That is true, there is a middle road, and many travel on it. But it is a dangerous road to travel. Hear what Jesus says about this road:
“ And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” (Re 3:14-22 AV)
The two who are the subjects of the actions at the Passover supper, the faithful woman and the traitorous man, are the two sorts of persons today, either sold out to God as His servant or sold out to serve money. If you will hear the word of the Lord, you must be honest with yourself and with the Him, to whom do you belong? The Lord will carry you to Heaven when your day comes if you are His, but otherwise, Hell will be your eternal abode.
If you know that your security is money, stocks and bonds, real estate holdings, and the like, be sure of this one thing; you are on the wide road to a burning Hell, forever. Your sin is rejection of Christ and His cause of love for the sick and the sinner. However, there is still the Gospel of Christ, Repent of your present ways, take Christ’s cross to yourself and be willing to follow Him, feeding the hungry, healing the sick and loving the unlovely, and you shall be saved.
“ That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Ro 10:9-10 AV)
You see, this is what the woman did, only she believed that He would be raised. Her faith was profound; we have proof of His resurrection, so should be quick to respond to Jesus’ love and sacrifice for us. Won’t you, right now determine for yourself how you stand with God? Is your security in life material or is it in Christ and His death for you? If you know that you are lost, please hear this word, believe it, confess the Lord Jesus Christ as savior of the world, risen from the dead and preparing a place for you in His glorious Heaven. Repent of your old ways of self service, and turn to the ways of Jesus, servant to all whether friend or foe. Then ask Jesus to take your life, all that you have and are, and use it for His purposes. You will never be disappointed if you follow Him, the savior of all that will love others with His love, both God and neighbor.